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After a less-than-glorious return to the sport, seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher has announced his retirement from the pinnacle of motorsports.
Formula 1 is a lucrative career no matter how you place. It’s even more so if you’re a seven-time World Champion.
In fact, according to a new list released by the Sunday Times, Michael Schumacher has earned a total of $823 million during his career that has stretched from the Benneton team back in 1991 to the Mercedes-Benz team of today – plus a hugely successful stint in between as the man at Ferrari.
Schumacher’s earnings are not, however, enough to rank him as the sports world’s highest earner; that title goes to Tiger Woods, who edges out the F1 champ by $46 million.
By comparison, Schumacher (and Woods) easily best others in the running, including Michael Jordan at $516 million, Roger Federer at $316 million and David Beckham at “just” $258 million.
As for other Formula 1 starts, both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen have billed for roughly $161 million during their careers while World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button tally $89 million and $85 million respectively.
When it comes to the pinnacle of motorsports, things get very expensive and very complicated at Formula 1.
A Formula 1 steering wheel, a tiny carbon fiber control panel that places every electronically adjustable parameter of a Formula 1 race car into the palm of the driver’s hands, can cost $50,000 alone. With more buttons, toggle switches, dials, and switches than a tournament-spec Streetfighter fighting-stick gamepad, racing drivers must push their cars as hard as possible, handle the physical strains from high loads of G-force, while delicately managing all the vehicle vitals and settings on the button array.
To the unfamiliar, the dizzying control layout may seem excessive, but Mercedes GP and 7-time World Champion Michael Schumacher share a guided tour of the steering wheel to help racing fans understand what’s what.
Starting with its main function of steering the vehicle left and right, Schumacher gets into identifying the boost button for the car’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), the neutral and speed limiter button for coming into the pit-lane, a button that alerts the team for an unscheduled entry into the pits, a safety car button, a reverse button, brake balance check and clutch check buttons, toggles for the clutch, fuel mixture, engine management, differential adjustment, and wheel diameter adjustment. Finally, a main menu toggle switch and a multitude of ‘menu’ option buttons handle the rest. In the event the buttons and switches on the wheel fail to respond, a ‘reset’ button is available as well.
Check out Schumacher’s video below to find out more: Continue Reading…
This weekend’s Melbourne GP kicks off the 2012 Formula 1 season. After the third session of qualifying, Michael Schumacher displayed a return to form, qualifying 4th, well ahead of his teammate for Mercedes GP Nico Rosberg. Unfortunately, Schumacher’s Mercedes lost power out of turn 1 of the tenth lap, forcing an early retirement on an otherwise rapid display of performance.
Despite coming short at Melbourne this weekend, Michael Schumacher has enjoyed a remarkably long F1 career of more than 2 decades, and has officially broken and currently holds many records. According to the official Formula 1 website, Michael Schumacher is “statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen.” Schumacher has earned 7 driver’s championships, the most race victories, the most fastest laps, the most pole positions, the most points scored, and the most races won in a single season. In 2002, Schumacher became the only driver in Formula 1 history to finish in the top three in every single race of the season.
Michael Schumacher’s success all began when he joined the Benetton-Ford race team. What’s more, 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of a landmark year, the season where Michael Schumacher earned his first podium and scored his first victory in 1992 with Team Benetton. Coincidentally, racing fans can now own a piece of history: the 1992 season Benetton F1 car is now available for sale.
Michael Schumacher had twinkly eyes when he got his new bike, or at least that’s what Daimler said in its press release.
Whether or not that was true, Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are the two first people to own the new Smart ebike. They received them at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona where we would like to imagine both racers riding around for a few minutes making “vroom” noises and looking silly.
Funny as it would be, there’s nothing silly about the €2849 price tag that translates to roughly $3,700 dollars. It’s hard to imagine how smart you would really feel cruising around on an almost-$4000 bicycle. Well, it does get you over 100 kilometers on one charge from the 400-Wh lithium-ion battery, so at least you are getting some bang for your buck.
The Smart ebike will be available in April with two color options: white with green “trim” as seen above or matte grey with orange.
Smart describes the bike as if it were a car in its release, try not to chuckle.
“As a pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle) the smart ebike is strictly speaking a hybrid vehicle: the electric motor switches on as soon as the rider starts pedalling. Muscle power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a lubricant-free, durable and quiet belt drive in place of a conventional bicycle chain.”
It’s a good thing the geniuses at Smart decided to make it “rear-wheel drive” because all that power would probably lead to some serious wheel hop during drag races. You’ve been put on notice, world. Stay off the sidewalks.
Formula One drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg helped Mercedes-Benz take the wraps off their new competitor for the German DTM touring car series, based on the Mercedes-Benz C-Coupe.
Mercedes claims that the C-Class is DTM’s most successful entry, with 84 victories in 156 races and five driver’s titles. DTM is thought to be one of the premiere sports car series in the world, with drivers regularly moving on to Le Mans or prestigious open wheel racing series after their stints.
Gallery: DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupe
We are already highly anticipating Michael Schumacher’s unveiling of the DTM AMG C Coupe at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show but now Mercedes has teased us with a video of the new car. Mercedes DTM driver Gary Paffett gives us some comments about the new machine in the video, building even more suspense to see how Mercedes will compete against BMW‘s DTM racer and Audi‘s A5.
The official unveiling will take place on September 13th, 2011 with Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Gary Paffett, Mercedes-Benz Motorsports chief Norbert Haug and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche taking center stage. The 2012 DTM season is shaping up to be one of the best, and we’re highly anticipating news of a race series to bring the DTM machines over to America.
Check out the video after the break.
There’s no better way to get a rise out of the jaded automotive media and ensure a spot on the local network newscast than to have a genuine professional racing star introduce your new car at an auto show. And that’s just what Mercedes intends to do at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week, with the new DTM race car being revealed by none-other than 7-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher. Oh, and teammate Nico Rosber (who’s actually out-performing old-man Schumie this year) will be there too.
Based on the new C-Class Coupe, the car will continue to be an excellent branding exercise for Mercedes-Benz, while sharing nothing but its roof with the production car.
“The IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung), the world’s most important show for the automotive industry, is the perfect setting for the première of our new 2012 DTM car,” said Schumacher.
“This new-generation vehicle, based on our Mercedes-Benz C- Coupé, will mark the introduction of an even more spectacular racing car from the start of 2012,” said Norbert Haug, the head of Merc’s motorsports division. “I am certain that the spectators will get their money’s worth from the three-way fight between Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the DTM next year.”
To see all the photos of the car, visit AutoGuide’s Frankfurt Auto Show coverage page starting September 13th.
Despite a poor performance, rumors of retirement, and even a call to hang-up his racing gloves by former F1 Champ Niki Lauda, Michael Schumacher will be back competing at the pinnacle of motorsports next year.
The seven-time World Champion’s return to F1 has been less than glamorous, with the Mercedes GP Petronas driver having failed to reach the podium once this season. Still, Schumacher obviously feels he has an important role to play. Speaking at a Mercedes-Benz event over the weekend, Schumacher said, “I’ll certainly be racing next year, that is definite.”
Currently Schumacher sits in 10th place in the Drivers’ standings, three places behind team mate Nico Rosberg. With eight more races to go this season, can Schumacher return to his former glory?
Niki Lauda, former F1 champion and a man who knows a thing or two about a comeback, is looking at Michael Schumacher’s own, and suggesting that it’s time for him to embrace retired life.
Lauda mounted a comeback after retirement himself, back in 1982 after spending two years off the track. He didn’t do so well this time around, however: he finished 10th at the end of the season, 59 points behind his teammate Alain Prost. Wisely, he quit while he was behind. Today, he sees Schumacher falling into the same trap as he did.
“I have always been a big supporter of Michael’s comeback, because I did it, and I know what it’s all about,” said Lauda, to Motor Sport magazine. “I think every sportsman—if he wants to perform as well as Schumacher did in the past—has to be honest with himself. He has kept saying that he needs more time, blah, blah, blah, and he presents himself as the relaxed guy who’s really enjoying it—but inside he’s not relaxed at all, because no top racing driver enjoys being beaten. If he really were as relaxed as he claims to be, then Mercedes should tell him to retire!”
An Italian newspaper reported that Schumacher had considered quitting the Mercedes-Benz team, but Schumi’s manager countered by stating that he was as committed as ever. Who knows what it will take to unnerve Schumacher’s typically relaxed demeanor, and whether he’ll heed Lauda’s advice.
[Source: ESPN F1]
Seven time F1 champ Michael Schumacher may re-retire at the end of the 2011 racing season, despite a contract that extends a full year beyond that point.
Schumacher first retired in 2006, only to return to the pinnacle of motorsports in 2009, driving for Mercedes-Benz.
“I arrived at Mercedes with a specific task: not winning at all costs but to grow the team,” he said in an interview with Corriere dello Sport. “If anything, I am the problem: it is a fact that I am a bit more relaxed than before and I do not know if my mindset is right for this team.”
Those words seem to speak volumes about Schumacher’s intentions, but no decision has been made yet he insists. “At some point we will evaluate whether I continue or stop,” he said.
If Schumacher does retire from F1, Mercedes is expected to draft Force India pilot Paul di Resta to race along side Nico Rosberg.
Race car magnate Tom Walkinshaw has died at age 64 after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Walkinshaw began his career as a driver, and then established legendary firm Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) in 1976, and contested European and Australian motor racing, with his team winning the Bathurst 1000 endurance race in 1985.
TWR was also a major behind the scenes player in the motor racing world, working with teams like Benetton, Ligier and Arrows and attracting the best driving talent, including Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher. TWR’s long affiliation with Australia also extended to Australian V8 Supercars, specifically the Holden Racing Team, and the establishment of Holden’s HSV tuning arm.
[Source: BBC Sport]
So many luxury auto-brand watches, so little time. Making it even harder to settle on just one, Ferrari has just released its latest timepiece to the market – the new Ferrari Lap Time chronograph.
With only 399 watches being made, you can expect the Lap Time to go fast. Featuring a black rubber strap, it’s adorned with a Ferrari shield logo and “Scuderia Ferrari” embossing. It also features an original valve of the F2003-GA World Champion, Ferrari’s 49th single-seater that gave Michael Schumacher his sixth Drivers’ title and Ferrari its fifth Constructors’ crown.
Presented in an elegant carbon-fiber box, the Lap Time is secured inside a black display. The lid sports the Scudetto Ferrari logo, and a plaque on the outside announces the watch’s manufacturing number.
Boasting a brilliant combination of superb accuracy and functions, this is an ideal all-round, high performance chronograph. Other features you’ll love include an analogical display of main time, with Swiss high-precision movement; digital display for 2 more secondary time zones; chronometer, partial time, tachometer, countdown; rubber watch strap, unbreakable glass, waterproof, guarantees functionality and comfort under extreme conditions.
The price tag isn’t too bad either – the Ferrari Lap Time retails for 499 euro, which translates to about $688 U.S.
[Source: Top Speed]
It’s hard to believe it’s been 16 years since Michael Schumacher stormed onto the scene. Seven Formula One championships later, you can own a piece of Schumacher and Formula One history… if you’ve got a couple million dollars lying around: $2.08 million to be exact.
Schumacher’s first driver’s championship Benetton B194-8 is is now up for sale for those that are pure Formula One junkies or Michael Schumacher addicts. The car is in near flawless condition still powered by the 3.5L Ford-Cosworth ZETEC R V8 powerplant that took Schumacher to the top of the podium.
We’re guessing if you have the money to spare, there are worse ways you could blow $2.08 million. Go ahead, own a piece of history and when you’re bored, take it around for a lap in the race track you’re having built in your backyard. You know you wanna.
Michael Schumacher has apologized to Rubens Barrichello after nearly running him into a retaining wall at the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix. The apology came via a text message, but the actual words were not released.
Schumacher, who defended his actions despite a massive outcry, published a statement on his website saying he was “sorry” and did not intend to put Barrichello’s life in jeopardy.
Now, reports say that Schumacher went a step further and apologized to his former team mate via a text message. Barrichello went on to confirm this, and was gracious in his response.
“Somebody said to him that I was under the impression he had pushed me onto the wall, and he said it wasn’t the case and he apologised for that. I just said ‘thank you, no problem’. I accepted it, wished him a good weekend, life goes on.”
[Source: Sky Sports]
Hit the jump to see video of Rubens and Schumi battling it out at the 2010 Hungarian GP
Michael Schumacher, 7 time Formula 1 world champion and current driver for the Mercedes GP team, has always come under fire for his less-than-graceful attempts at punting his rivals off the track.
His latest effort to pass former team mate Ruebens Barichello and subsequently s put him into the wall have inspired a new round of outrage, spurring EVO magazine blogger Roger Green to compile a “greatest hits” list of Schumacher’s worst moves.
Michael Schumacher is a polarizing figure in the Formula 1 world, and whether you love him or hate him, it’s hard to argue with his statistical dominance of the sport. Whether he’s truly the best driver of all time is another matter.
[Source: Evo Magazine]
When seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher announced his return to motorsports, fans rejoiced and Mercedes was thrilled to have the best-known name in racing on its payroll. Since then, it’s been one disappointment after another, with the legend even being one-upped by his less-experienced team-mate Nico Rosberg.
All this has led to rumors of Schumacher’s end-of-season re-retirement, with three-time World Champion Jackie Steward recently commenting that he thought Schumacher’s return to racing was a poor decision.
Now Bernie Eccleston has chimed in, echoing Stewart. But instead of blaming Schumi for a less-than-stellar season, he’s blaming Mercedes. “He is obviously fit, motivated and talented but the car hasn’t been up to him,” he said in an interview with ESPN.
And knowing what sort of a competitor Schumacher is, Ecclestone commented that he can’t see Schumi sticking around if he’s not going to compete.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you will never even glimpse the top of the motorsports pyramid that Michael Schumacher was sucessfully climbed – 7 times over. But if you have roughly $745,000, you can own a well known piece of Michael Schumacher memorabilia - his Bugatti EB110SS.
Before the Veyron, and having Volkswagen to subsidize them, Bugatti made a car called the EB110, a great supercar in its day, that was hampered by Bugatti’s chronic insolvency. Michael Schumacher famously bought this bright yellow EB110SS in 1992, and while he kept the car for over a decade Bugatti went bust three years later in 1995.
Packing an F1-esque 3.5L V12, but fitted with four turbochargers and all-wheel drive, the 600 horsepower EB110 is a real man’s supercar, but tips the scales at over 4000 lbs. Schumacher’s car is an EB110SS, of which only 31 were produced, so while $745,000 is a lot of coin, the provenance of the car(it was owned by most successful racing driver of all time), combined with its awesome performance and low mileage (less than 5000 miles) makes this car, dare we say….a bargain?
[Source: World Car Fans]
What’s the one car Michael Schumacher cannot pass? The official Formula One Safety Car, of course! That’s the riddle Mercedes-Benz’ Dr. Dieter Zetsche asked before introducing the SLS AMG F1 Safety Car at the Geneva Auto Show.
The SLS AMG Safety Car then drove to the stage and its gullwing doors opened up to reveal the driver, Michael Schumacher and his passenger, Grand Prix teammate Nico Rosberg.
The SLS AMG at every round of the 2010 F1 season, ready to deploy whenever accidents or bad weather make it too dangerous to race.
The official safety car needs to be fast enough to lead the F1 grid at a high enough speed to prevent the race cars’ tires and brakes from cooling down or their engines from overheating. With a 6.3L v8 engine claiming 571 hp and 479.4 ft-lb. of torque, the SLS AMG should be up to the task.
As impressive as the standard-production SLS AMG is, the Safety Car receives a number of updates to fit its role. Apart from the F1 logos and integrated television camera, the Safety Car is distinguishable by its carbon-fiber mirrors and a new carbon-fiber hood. The rear aerofoil pops up when the car reaches 93 mph, and together with the rear diffuser, provides added downforce.
Inside, the Safety Car is equipped with monitors and a radio system to help driver Bernd Maylander and co-driver Pete Tibbetts see and hear what’s going on in the race. A second interior mirror is installed so Tibbetts can keep an eye on the F1 cars following the Safety Car. The central display on the instrument cluster and on the glove compartment provide the same marshalling signals the F1 drivers see in their cockpits.
The SLS AMG Safety Car will be joined by another Mercedes-Benz at F1 races. The C63 AMG Estate returns in 2010 as the official F1 Medical Car, ready to respond to race emergencies.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Formula One Safety Car
It’s not likely to help sell a single car, but Mercedes-Benz has just kicked-off a marketing effort in Europe for the new SLS AMG exotic which will help draw attention to the brand as a whole. Included in the new campaign, Mercedes asks the question, that with an engine, a cockpit and two wings, “Is it still a car?” Some ads will even feature Mercedes’ newest Formula One driver Michael Schumacher.
In addition to more traditional advertising, Mercedes has announced that the SLS AMG will be featured in a new iPhone racing application called “SLS AMG,” as well as in the upcoming Gran Turismo 5 (a game that’s been delayed so many times, the SLS might be a classic before we ever get a chance to play it). The SLS will even be featured on the cover of the game box.
Mercedes has also launched an interactive website about the car, with videos, photos and downloads, which can be seen here:
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Marketing Campaign
While 2009 was a tumultuous year for automakers, the worldwide economic crisis pushed the auto industry into the mainstream automotive media’s spotlight, making big automotive news stories even bigger. And while new products continued to be introduced, they garnered possibly even more attention that ever before. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the Top 10 biggest stories of 2009 for an automaker that didn’t recoil, but continued on, unveiling an all-new version of one of its most important models, delivering a new exotic car to market, promising an electric car in the future… and making some big changes in its motorsports program. That automaker is Mercedes-Benz.
#10 Mercedes Goes Green With New Hybrids
Slow to adapt hybrid technology, German automakers began to take on the Japanese luxury hybrids in 2009. Mercedes launched two important hybrid models, the S400 Hybrid and the ML450 Hybrid. The S400 Hybrid was the first Mercedes hybrid to go on sale and is also the first mass production automobile to use a lithium-ion battery. Priced at $87,950 it uses an electric motor and 3.5-liter gasoline V6 to produce 295-hp, while getting mileage of 19/26 mpg – an improvement of 26 percent over the S550 in the city. Despite its high-tech battery pack, the S400 Hybrid is a mild-hybrid, which limits its fuel economy.
The second hybrid model from Mercedes is the ML450 Hybrid 4MATIC. A lease-only model, for either 36 or 60 months, at either $659 or $549 per month, the ML450 is the first two-mode hybrid (like the Toyota Prius) from Mercedes. The ML450 uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine and two electric motors to make 335-hp and 381 ft-lbs of torque. Unlike the S400 Hybrid, it will be able to operate exclusively on electric power for short periods of time. Its fuel economy is rated at 21/24 mpg (city/highway), which is roughly the same as the ML350 Bluetec diesel at 18/25 mpg. This is also a 46 percent improvement over the fuel economy rating of the similarly-powerful ML550.
The next step for Mercedes in the field of hybrids comes with the Vision S500 Plug-In Hybrid, which debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show and foreshadows a plug-in hybrid version of the next generation S-Class. Thanks to a direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a 60-hp/184 ft-lb electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, the car is capable of getting an amazing 73.5 mpg! Possibly more shocking is that the car doesn’t sacrifice performance, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds. Additionally, the electric motor will be able to power the car emissions-free for 18 miles.
He’s back! That’s right, seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher will make his return to the pinnacle of motorsports next year, driving for Mercedes-Benz. The German will join fellow countryman Nico Rosberg in representing Mercedes on the grid, starting March 12th at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
“It is a new chapter in my racing career and I am really looking forward to working with my old friend Ross Brawn and my companions from my days with the Mercedes Junior Programme,” said Schumacher in an interview. “I am convinced that together we will be involved in the fight for the Formula One World Championship next year and I am already looking forward to getting back onto the race track. For me, this partnership closes the circle. Mercedes supported me for so many years when I began my Formula One career and now I can hopefully give something back to the brand with the star.”
Schumacher returns to the sport after a planned comeback last year failed. He had intended to race in place of injured teammate Filipe Massa, but injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident prevented that from happening. Schumacher now says he is fully recovered.
Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in 2006 after seven world championships and 91 overall wins. At the first race of the season, Schumacher will be 41, almost double the age of many just entering the sport.
The Mercedes team that he joins is actually the Brawn GP team (headed former Ferrari and Benetton technical director Ross Brawn), which was purchased by Mercedes in the off-season, after clinching the championship in its first year. The connection with Brawn has always been a strong one – and a successful one. Along with Schumacher’s five wins at Ferrari under the leadership of Brawn, his two other World Championships came at Benetton with Brawn at the helm.
When asked about Schumacher’s accomplishments, Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports said that, “Michael has more of everything than every other driver.”